By Elizabeth Cohen
(CNN) - Mixing liquor with diet soda may save some calories, but it could leave you more intoxicated.
It's no secret soda can add to your waistline, and that's why many drinkers choose to mix alcohol with a diet soda instead.
"It cuts down the sweetness and you know calories too," said bartender Ashley Mills. "They usually tell me that they're watching their weight. That's the number one reason. I'm watching my middle."
Alcohol with regular soda and alcohol with diet soda may look the same, but according to a new small study the way they impact your brain is very different.
"What we saw was that when you mix alcohol with a diet soft drink, you achieve a higher blood alcohol concentration than you would with a regular soft drink mixer," said Cecile Marczinski, Researcher, Northern Kentucky University.
Researchers had college students drink about four vodka drinks with regular soda, they waited 40 minutes, gave them a breathalyzer test, and they passed it.
On a different day, they had those students drink the same drinks, but this time with diet soda. They saved 132 calories, but they failed the breathalyzer test. Because they were drinking diet soda it was as if they were getting an extra shot glass of alcohol.
The diet drinkers didn't realize they were more drunk, but tests showed their responses were indeed more impaired.
They would be more likely, for example, to get into a car accident.
Why would alcohol with diet soda get you drunker faster?
There's no sugar in the diet drink so it goes through the stomach a lot faster. The diet mixture fast forwards the digestion process of sending the alcohol into the bloodstream.
So in other words, without the sugar, the alcohol goes to your head.
You should probably mix your alcohol with a sugar sweeten mixture as opposed to a diet one.
Sure, it's extra calories, but you'll also be drinking safer.